Federal Employee and Police Advocacy Groups Protest Vaccine Mandates

By Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.
October 25, 2021 Updated: October 28, 2021

A federal employees’ advocacy group is protesting the Canadian government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates for federal workers.

Feds for Freedom, an advocacy group formed by thousands of federally regulated employees, says it has sent a petition with over 1,200 signatures to the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s (PSAC) union leadership, demanding they come to the table to discuss “the violation of both workplace and human rights” caused by the federally-imposed vaccine mandate.

“We are steadfast in our certainty that the employer has no legal or moral right to threaten or enforce these mandates. We are also steadfast in our certainty that we deserve a public advocate,” Feds for Freedom said in an Oct. 23 news release.

The release said the group was giving PSAC a final opportunity to “begin a dialogue” and if they did not receive a response, would then “consider ourselves to be free of any obligation to follow the union process in dealing with the employer.”

“We hope that PSAC gives serious consideration to scheduling a meeting with us, and that PSAC’s leadership will consider the ramifications that a mass ‘opt-out’ campaign might have,” the release said.

The advocacy group said PSAC, which is Canada’s largest civil service union, has so far ignored their letter and members’ request to uphold their rights, which is “leading down a path towards the dereliction of their duties of fair representation.”

Beginning Oct. 25, Feds for Freedom members will launch a peaceful sit-in at the PSAC Union Headquarters in Ottawa, demanding the PSAC schedule a meeting with the group’s members.

In response to The Epoch Times’ request for comment, PSAC referred to a statement made by its national president Chris Aylward in regards to the Oct. 25 sit-in.

“As a union, we absolutely respect everyone’s right to protest. We also encourage all our members, including the protesters outside PSAC’s national office, to get vaccinated unless they have a valid medical or other human rights exemption,” Aylward said.

Phoenix contract talks Canada
PSAC President Chris Aylward speaks during a news conference in Ottawa, on Oct. 31. 2018. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

In a separate statement, Feds for Freedom said that while they are not against vaccines, they oppose vaccine mandates on principle.

“We believe that as every individual’s body and situation is different, allowing for government interjection into medical decisions between an individual and their health care provider sets a dangerous precedent,” said the statement.

“We believe the right to medical privacy—and to be free from discrimination on that basis—is essential. Not only to us as a labour force, but to society as a whole.”

Meanwhile, an advocacy group for law enforcement officers called Mounties for Freedom sent an open letter to RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki on Oct. 21, announcing their stance against “the forced coercive medical intervention of Canadians.”

“Police officers are expected to preserve the peace, uphold the law, and defend the public interest. We strongly believe that forced and coerced medical treatments undermine all three and, thus, contradict our duties and responsibilities to Canadians,” read the letter.

Representing actively serving police officers across the country, the group said the COVID-19 vaccine mandates have resulted in discrimination against the “unvaccinated” population and is causing segregation within families and communities, as well as between law enforcement and the Canadian populace they protect.

“As representatives of our communities within the RCMP and representatives of the RCMP in our communities, we have never witnessed such division in our country,” the group said in a statement.

“This sense of ‘Us versus Them’ will be further fuelled by having a police force consisting only of ‘vaccinated’ people, while serving communities consisting of ‘unvaccinated’ people, which goes against the community policing model the RCMP has strived to achieve.”

Epoch Times Photo
Police talk with people as they gather in a park in Montreal on April 4, 2021. (The Canadian Press/Graham Hughes)

The statement went on to say the high degree of stress and mental illness that police officers experience due to the nature of their duties has been “compounded considerably” by the vaccine mandates.

The federal government announced on Oct. 6 that federal public servants in the Core Public Administration, including members of the RCMP, are required to confirm their vaccination status by Oct. 29, 2021. Those unwilling to disclose their vaccination status or to be fully vaccinated “will be placed on administrative leave without pay” as early as Nov. 15, 2021.

Mounties for Freedom said many federal employees have been threatened to be sent home without pay for refusing the vaccine and called on the RCMP commissioner to come to their defence.

“We also ask that you challenge the federal government’s decision to send Mounties home without pay for decisions they’ve made on beliefs protected by Canadian laws. Neither the RCMP, nor the communities they serve, can endure the loss of experienced police officers,” the statement read.

The group also called for an investigation into, and full disclosure of, how decisions around government-mandated pandemic health measures are made and provide evidence that they are “reasonable, provable, and guided by law.”

“If presented with all available evidence in a court, we firmly believe the government implemented mandates would not hold up under scrutiny,” read the letter.

Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.